UEFA Champions League: Atletico Madrid- Real Madrid
Ok, we have Juventus in the final and that is great, but the dream case scenario for us, which would have been playing Atletico looks very unlikely to come about after that poor performance at the Bernabeu and even Diego Simeone was not shouting at anyone and looked a beaten man on the sidelines and you would normally need to hit him on the head with a hammer to knock the fight out of him ! Simeone is too good and too proud to not demand a reaction tonight and there is further motivation with this the last ever Champions League tie and penultimate game overall at the Vicente Calderón which has been Atletico's home for 51 years.
Atletico have nothing left to play for but these two home games, Real have the final in Cardiff and the La Liga title race, they host Sevilla at the weekend and have two road league games next week and almost certainly need seven points to clinch the domestic championship. If Real score tonight they know that Atletico will not put five past them and focus could soon switch to those upcominmg games, Atletico will not be allowed by Simeone or supporters to switch off at any stage and I feel a result of any kind will be celebrated and if they were to score first and earlyish, who knows !
Gimenez and Juanfran plus others return to the Atleti squad and they will have a better shape and feel tonight, Real will not be able to adopt such a flank focused offensive approach and I am expecting a major reaction from the hosts. Simeone said he would like his team to start with a solid base and added that: "We trust what we can do, I trust a lot in my players. "I have known them for the last five and a half years and I have no doubt that tomorrow they will make a great game."
Everyone was impressed with Real last week, I was less so, they were clearly far better on the night but made plenty of mistakes that on another evening Atleti would have punished. In the first game Real won significantly more tackles and aerial duals than Atletico (!), seriously, that can never happen and I doubt it will again and it is time for the real
Los Rojiblancos to turn up and restore some pride. This could get (very) physical and Real will certainly not want that and that could also ensure that the visitors play with the bigger picture in mind.
1.5 units Atletico Madrid -0.25 ball asian line/Sportmarket.